Removing Stamps From Paper - Caution - Stamps Of High Value

Removing Stamps From Paper

The most practical method of removing stamps from paper is to soak them in cold water. Merely place a quantity of stuck down stamps in a pan of water and allow to stand long enough to dissolve the gum. When the stamps begin to float free of the paper, separate the stamps from the paper, place the stamps face down on some spreadout newspaper and allow to dry. Any stamps that may have become creased or wrinkled can be wetted again separately and pressed flat between blotters. Place some heavy books on the blotters so that enough pressure will be exerted on the stamps to remove the wrinkles. While most stamps are not affected by even prolonged immersion in water, there are a few which have soluble colors which would tend to strain the other stamps being soaked. For that reason it is advisable not to soak too many stamps at one time.


Certain stamps may not be subjected to the rude process noted in the foregoing. Among these would be certain British and British colony stamps that have been printed on "chalky surface" paper - in other words coated paper such as is commonly used for "slick" paper magazines. If the surface of the paper appears "glossy" it should not be soaked in water. To make sure mark the edge of the stamp with an ordinary ten cent piece (any real silver will do). If the paper is "chalky surface" the edge of the dime will leave a black mark.

Certain other stamps are printed in fugitive colors and will "run" if soaked in water. Some early U. S. postage due stamps are so affected. If you note the water in which you have placed your stamps begins to take color examine the lot and discover just which stamps are leaching color. Remove them.

Stamps Of High Value

By and large the soaking process described in the foregoing will not hurt even the most valuable stamp. Just make sure it is not printed in fugitive ink or on chalky surface paper. If you have doubts or are timid about "taking a chance" there are various gadgets for removing individual stamps from paper. They are available from most all dealers and come in a variety of trade names.